On December 28, 1992, Steven – 23 years old at the time – went missing while out on a family walk along Saltburn seafront, and was never seen again. Over the next 28 years, the case was subject to numerous reviews, but he continued to be classified as missing – until a new team reviewed it in 2020 and declared it a murder case. His parents, Doris and Charles, were arrested and had their home and garden torn up to search for his remains.
They have since cleared their names, but tonight they will have to re-live the horrifying ordeal during ITV’s documentary ‘Accused of Murdering Our Son – The Steven Clark Story.’
Former police detective Mark Williams-Thomas follows the 17-week investigation as the couple faced the prospect of going to jail for the rest of their lives.
It includes the emotional moment they found out about a development in the mystery of an anonymous letter sent to the police in 1999.
It claimed to know who was responsible for Steven’s death.
The police recently released a picture of the envelope in order to try to identify the sender, then released extracts with the hope someone would come forward.
After 20 years, and 80 days after the Clarks were arrested, the anonymous letter writer made themselves known.
In December, Detective Chief Inspector Shaun Page said: “This is a significant moment in the investigation.
“For 20 years we have been in possession of this handwritten anonymous letter and now, for the first time, we have been able to speak to the author.
“There have been a number of twists and turns since we started to reinvestigate this cold case and this latest development marks another significant moment which has included new sightings of Steven on the day of his murder and a wealth of new material being uncovered.
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“Steven was well known in the local area and as we approach Christmas I would particularly like to hear from anyone who saw Steven on Christmas bank holiday weekend in 1992, which was Friday 25th December to Monday 28th December.
“You can call the Cleveland and North Yorkshire Cold Case Team directly, or speak to Crimestoppers anonymously.”
When Mr Williams-Thomas gives the couple the news during tonight’s documentary, Doris breaks down in tears in her kitchen.
She says: “It’s a nightmare. God, I just want it to go away. Go away, I can’t bear it. I can’t. They’re villains, absolute villains, whoever it is.”
Giving his wife a hug, Charles replies: “Listen, don’t believe half the stuff. Anyway, it’s up to you, I can’t help you anymore.”
To which Doris responds: “It’s alright believing or not believing, it’s happening isn’t it?”
Charles adds: “We’ll have to wait for the police to come round which they’re apparently going to do, and we’ll face them when they come.
“That’s the end of it. The story hasn’t changed. Did you murder Steven? Did I murder Steven? Don’t be silly.”
‘Accused of Murdering Our Son – The Steven Clark Story’ airs tonight on ITV at 9pm